In 1979, the Institute of Policy Studies was founded at a time when there was no such research institution outside the public sector in Pakistan, or in the whole Muslim world, that could examine policies critically and recommend viable alternatives based on its evaluations, reasoning and foresight. On the contrary, there was no dearth of such institutions in America and Europe, some of which were associated with political parties while the others operated independently, reviewing government policies from a non-government perspective, evaluating them impartially and advocating for their rectification and refinement, hence playing a pivotal role in the country’s growth and development.
At that time, even the inception and realization of such independent institution in Pakistan, let alone its sustainability, looked like a preposterous dream. Our firm and unwavering faith in Allah however paid off, and now, by the grace and blessings of the Almighty, the Institute has completed 36 years of its existence, services and valuable contributions.
Ever-since the first day of its inception, our vision was to work professionally, not beholding the viewpoints of any specific political group, religious faction or a funding entity, but to deliver objectivity through unprejudiced analysis, unbiased opinions and recommendations for the workable policy alternatives. In fact it was made sure since the very beginning that IPS remains a forum having representations and participation from all those multifarious schools of thought who have their loyalties firmly attached to Islam and Pakistan. The suggestions and recommendations put forward by IPS were never supposed to be the final verdicts, but the propositions for other feasible and worthy options which had to be spelled out before the nation.
Thus, the main objective of IPS has remained to address the opinion makers and policy circles, as well as to educate the common man over key issues. The Institute's primary addressees include government departments, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, political parties, legislators, etc., whereas media, both the mainstream as well as the new-age, is also the Institute’s target given its influential role in opinion and policy making. It also helps to reach out to the common people, encouraging them to play their indirect part in policy making and opinion curating, as they are theultimate beneficiary, or the victim, of all policies.
All along its journey of 36 years, IPS has ensured that it runs as an autonomous institution. Indigenous endowment means were established to safeguard the Institute's sustainability and financial independence, the courtesy of which it has relied on primarily its own resources. The Institute, thus, has never been dependent on anyone and its open and transparent accounts duly affirm this assertion.
The Institute has never sought any financial support from the government or any international donor. It however remains open for commissioned research projects, albeit ensuring beforehand that all such endeavors are within the parameters of the Institute’s predefined principles, not compromising its independence or integrity and ensuring a win-win scenario for all concerned stakeholders.
We also encourage like-minded contributors - individuals, groups and organizations - to join hands with IPS and support the Institute, intellectually, financially and morally, to pursue its goals of making Pakistan a prosperous, empowered, Islamic, democratic, federal welfare state – a dream that was central in formation of this nation-state.
Professor Khurshid Ahmad
Founding Chairman, IPS
(Excerpt from his speech at theannual meeting of IPS-National Academic Council,
August 8, 2015)